Monday, 22 November 2010

5 galleries and a birthday party

I had originally intended to go to the V&A this Saturday, but best laid plans....were sidetracked by it being the last day to catch Beatriz Milhazes show at the Stephen Friedman gallery so a new agenda was written taking in all the smaller galleries in and around Cork Street, and rich picking had arrived that week in nearly all of them.
First up was Annely Juda a wonderful space on the third and fourth floor of a town house just off Oxford Street, it is unusual for a gallery not to have a shop front but being at the top of the building has allowed the gallery to put into place sky light that opens up to allow huge sculptures and paintings to be dropped in. The light too being mostly natural is considerably better than most galleries. I had mistakenly assumed that Kossoff's work being so thickly applied and layered would be quite cloying but they are not, they are a delight, nothing prepares you for the delicacy of colour or the luminous depth of which you could contemplate all day, this one below was my favourite but all the work can be seen on the web site.
Leon Kossoff
Stephen Chambers

I saw Chamber's work at this years RA Summer Exhibition, it is surprisingly seductive and his smaller work in particular is beautifully painted. What is more astonishing is that you can pick one up for £2000 which if you factor in the amount of work is a bargain, they would be a great investment.
This show is on at Flowers Gallery on Cork Street. This one is my favourite but was sold.
Beatriz Milhazes

I think I may have missed the point of this exhibition, it was very sparsely hung and the quality of work was poor, I love her paintings but close up they look like they have been left on the pavement and trampled underfoot. I realise this is part of her working process but somehow neither the hanging or the work ticked any boxes. However I will now visit this gallery more often as it is a big interesting space.
Peter Blake

This was a real stunner of a show, On now at Waddington Galleries Peter Blake is very underestimated by the establishment the Tate should be ashamed at how little of his work it owns, luckily it does not seem to affect his output.
This exhibition is called Homage 10x5 which is his personal response to the work of 10 artist who's work he enjoys.
It is 'art teacher gold' it is what we do all the time, getting students to make a personal response to an artists work and this was brilliant, the only major disappointment was the rather sad catalogue which focused on the work of the artists who influenced him rather than what was on display. If you are near Bond Street go see, you will not be disappointed.
I ended up at The Redfern Gallery on show here are some very quiet but well considered paintings by Sarah Armstrong-Jones. I remember her at Camberwell, she managed to go on and do what I failed to do and complete a textiles degree at Middlesex. She appears to have holidayed close by me this year too, unlike me she is selling her work for a lot of money. Memo to self "Pull your finger out"
I have realised that the whole 'room of my own' was a waste of time. I cannot work at home whilst I have a small child to raise plus one doing her GCSE's so I have reevaluated my time at school and am reverting to working at work if you see what I mean. It has really rankled the lack of painting I have achieved although I have totally cracked this photography lark so I should not moan.
After Cork Street I wandered down Burlington Arcade to soak up some Regency Christmas cheer before photographing the Fortnum & mason windows. For most this would be enough but I went back to collect Leyla from where my sister collected us to drive north of Cambridge to go to my Aunts 90th birthday celebrations, 2 hours of horrendous traffic later we managed to get there with an hour to spare. 20 years it has been since I saw most of my cousins, yet it felt like yesterday. My aunt struggles to know who her own children are so I did not confuse her further by introducing Leyla who worked the room like pro, she charmed them all, young and old and really enjoyed herself.
We reconvened to the pub next door to where my mother and her sister were born. My granddad spent more time in this pub than at home particularly after the 5th child arrived! After a couple of pints we went home to London, I felt unbearably sad, I do not know whether it was was the row I had had with my sister about reading a map or that I feel sad that I see so little of my family or whether that seeing them makes you feel very mortal as we have all aged and grown apart. You have to remember we were all very close for years, only since my gran died have we drifted apart with no hub to spoke from.
Sunday I broke my 'Potter' virginity! Leyla loved it, she was only three months old when the first one came out, she has in the last year read all the books and become a lifelong fan. We ate sushi before hand where she beat me hands down with 7 blue plates + 1 green plate to my 1 pink plate + 1 blue plate!
Christmas windows to follow.....


Johanne said...

Meeting family certainly reminds you of how time flies and that you grow older and develope in different directions.

It amazed me that it was such a shock to see the older generation go. They were old, it wasn´t upsetting like that – but somehow I thought they would be there forever.

Now there are no family parties like there used to be.

materfamilias said...

I get hit by this kind of melancholy, especially as my parents' siblings wink out their lights, one by one. Only two of my mom's brothers left now, and an aunt and uncle on my dad's side -- actually, I'm not even positive about that as the contact with the English rellies has always been filtered through my mom, and with her being so much less on top of things . . .
Your gallery-hopping, at least, sounds marvellous, and your Leyla sounds a real delight. . . .the Potter books are a great escape, imho. Nothing like sinking into a child's fantasy world, especially when it's a series that can go on and on. . . .

indigo16 said...

I am glad it is not just me then, it is strange to feel far less immortal as time goes by.

auntiegwen said...

My mother and sister don't speak now, and I have lost nearly a whole set of inlaws. I'm glad the children still speak to me